Use your Headline to Connect with People’s Struggles

By | 2019-02-09

“What’s your FCF?” (No, this is not some mysterious code to search for on your website).

Actually, FCF is an idea, a theme for why you do ministry in the first place – and an important piece to your church’s overall communications.

FCF stands for Fallen Condition Focus. and comes from one of the most helpful books I’ve seen on connecting with people (in this case, through a sermon – but it applies more broadly too).

Why do I mention this?

Because identifying an FCF can become a key ingredient to communicating well through your website – particularly, on the main page or banner – which is the first thing that people see when they visit your site. Let me explain.

Understand Your Purpose

Essentially, the main idea behind FCF is that people you’d like to reach are broken. And that brokenness – a universal condition we all face – manifests itself in various ways:

  • Relationally, on the vertical plane (struggles with God)
  • Relationally, on the horizontal plane (idols, broken marriages & families, etc.)
  • In a multitude of sufferings and griefs, to which we all can relate

This is why Scripture is so multi-faceted – God has given us all kinds of stories in which to see it, and Psalms to hear it expressed. And he’s given us Jesus as the remedy and Redeemer, the One who meets us where we are, in our particular struggles, with his promise to make all things new.

Shouldn’t your ministry make that clear – that your church is about being a “hospital for sinners,” a family of authentic “wounded healers” – in short, a place of hope? (If this isn’t the case, then begin by praying for a recovery of the Gospel of grace and revival, that you might become so!)

Make Your Heart-Theme Clear

Next, apply this same idea of connecting to the FCF in your audience, to your church website.To illustrate, here’s a site that typically does it well: https://thevillagechurch.net/)

With the headline, ‘It’s Ok to not be OK,’ The Village Church taps into one particular manifestation of brokenness: our tendency to pretend we’re not broken; to wear masks, hide behind a veneer of niceness and good behavior, and find a life of our own making (artificial life). This headline provides a perfect segue to the Gospel, because it opens the door to see Jesus, who said: “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Without this intentional focus of connecting to the FCF, the church’s mission and message will tilt to extremes – either a lecture hall that does “50,000 foot flyovers” of topics and never addresses the heart; or a group of “religious people” that make mentions of problems, but does so superficially – like the prophets and priests spoken of Jeremiah 6:14: “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.”

As mentioned, there are many FCF’s to look for, and for churches to minister to with the Gospel – if we’re willing to pray for the eyes to see it. It’s all around us, and in us.

So how does your Church website do in connecting to people at the level of the heart?

(Note: For a shorter, helpful summary of FCF, see this helpful article from Bryan Chapell.)